ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)
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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Do consultancies compromise academic research and ethics? A case study of Burma/Myanmar (Papers: Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung | April 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on December 24, 2017

This paper contributes to ongoing debates about interactions between the political science discipline and policymaking communities by analysing the role played by scholars who work as consultants for governments, non-governmental organizations, and international aid agencies in conflict-affected and post-conflict societies. It argues that although consultancies permit scholars to engage with policy communities and provide convenient access for data collection, they also present methodological constraints and can complicate and compromise research ethics due to the inherent tensions linking the two different realms with their differing norms, agendas, and goals. The findings are based on the author’s decades of field experience in Myanmar, a country which has recently received much attention from the international community, on interviews with nine PhD candidates or PhD holders who have been employed as consultants for aid agencies in Myanmar and Southeast Asia, and analysis of secondary sources on countries with similar situations.

Consultancy, Qualitative Research Method, Myanmar/Burma, Research Ethics, Policy-making, Transitional Democracies

Thawnghmung AM. (2017). Do consultancies compromise academic research and ethics? A case study of Burma/Myanmar. Asian Journal of Political Science 25(2): 176-193.
Research Gate: …/publication/316061682_Do_consultancies_compromise_academic_research_and_ethics…


‘Fraud and Misconduct in Research’ – Inside Higher Ed (Nick Roll | December 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on December 6, 2017

Using a database of 750 cases of research fraud from around the world, professors examine fraud as a phenomenon, tracing its history and trajectory and looking at what can be done about it.

When a researcher is busted for fraud, the exposure often trickles out from source to source. Whether it’s exposed by an institution, professional association, journal or the media, word gets out.

Depending on how big a deal a case is, it might make international headlines. Other times, the fraud is dealt with quietly. But why does it occur, and why does it keep occurring? From an environmental and organizational level, what can be done to combat research fraud? Is there something to be learned by examining fraud at a level beyond just the case-by-case stories, sometimes packaged in shock journalism with explosive headlines?

Those are the types of questions that caught the attention of Nachman Ben-Yehuda and Amalya Oliver-Lumerman, professors in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem — inspiring them to write their own catalog of the history and ramifications of research fraud in Fraud and Misconduct in Research: Detection, Investigation and Organizational Response (University of Michigan Press).

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Do we need a Hippocratic oath for academics? – Times Higher Education (Trisha Greenhalgh | August 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on November 17, 2017

It is time to consider how we can stop senior academics bullying their way on to research papers, says

Bullying is often left off the list of matters that constitute research misconduct, but experience suggests something needs to be done. As is demonstrated by events recently reported (September 2017) in the Australian press.

A fellow professor emailed me recently: “I’m scarred by a recent authorship dispute involving a very senior academic demanding to be added to a paper in which they had played no part,” the message read.
“It got as far as two sets of lawyers before there was a back-down,” it continued.
The story struck a chord because I too had recently been a named party in a two-sets-of-lawyers interaction over what was eventually categorised as an “unfortunate misunderstanding” – namely, another professor’s strongly-held belief that his/her name (I’ll leave gender out of it for now) belonged on my papers (yes, plural).

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Ethics of Internet research trigger scrutiny – Nature (Elizabeth Gibney | October 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on October 12, 2017

Concern over the use of public data spurs guideline update.

This case highlights the degree to which there has been an important shift in the degree to which online research can circumvent anonymity strategies that in the recent past seemed impenetrable. We will be following PERVADE with keen interest.

British graffiti artist Banksy is renowned for his anonymity. But that status was dented last year when researchers published a paper that cross-referenced the locations of Banksy’s street art with public information about people’s addresses and likely movements (M. V. Hauge et al. J. Spatial Sci. 61, 185–190; 2016). The team, led by academics at Queen Mary University of London, concluded that someone previously suspected to be Banksy probably was the secretive artist.
Because the study used public data, a university ethics committee said that the work was exempt from formal review — and informally advised academics that it would do no harm because a UK national newspaper had already identified the person in question as Banksy. But for some ethicists, the paper highlights growing concerns about the potential hazards of research that uses public data. “I think this study should never have been done,” says Jake Metcalf, a technology ethicist at the think tank Data & Society in New York City.

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